How to make magical pasta

Anybody can make delicious fresh pasta from scratch. Here’s how

Along with making your own ice-cream and your own butter, making pasta is something we all should be able to do

Along with making your own ice-cream and your own butter, making pasta is something we all should be able to do

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“Life is a combination of magic and pasta,” according to the late Italian film director Federico Fellini. And according to the late and great Antonio Carluccio, “anyone can cook pasta – it’s not difficult”. What Carluccio meant by cooking pasta is actually making it as well. But this is just as easy, and along with making your own ice-cream and your own butter, is something we all should be able to do.

Unfortunately I have encountered young adults who don’t know how to cook pasta (let alone make it). This is unfortunate, as it shows the failings of our current way of educating children about food. But it is never too late, so the least you can do is to make time to make pasta with someone in need of a little food love: this may be your kids, your family or a friend.

Make the whole dough with your hands and fingers. If it’s too dry, add a little water

I recommend making pasta while drinking a nice glass of chilled Italian white wine. It will make the whole endeavour seem less like work and more like play. Pasta is a beautiful fusion of flour and eggs. The flour you need to get is called 00 and is a very soft flour. For every 100g of flour, use one egg and 2g of salt. Make a well in the centre of your flour and add the salt and eggs. Make the whole dough with your hands and fingers. If it’s too dry, add a little water. When you have a beautiful soft and smooth dough, wrap it in cling film and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Following this, divide the dough into 200g-250g pieces and roll out, with the aid of some more flour, as thin as possible. For beginners, the best shape to go for is pappardelle, a large, broad, flat pasta. When you have cut your pasta into broad strips, dust with flour and hang it over the back of the chair to dry for a couple of hours. Carluccio recommends using a litre of water for every 100g of pasta in order to give it enough room to cook. Home-made pasta will cook in one to two minutes. 

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